Thursday, February 25, 2010

For those who are curious...

So, I've had enough people ask me about Sharing Time that I thought I'd let you know how it went. Senior Primary was good- very easy, time ran out way too fast. Junior Primary... well, it's going to take some getting used to. Those little kids just have the attention spans the size of birds. It's going to take some time to figure out how to water everything down for them to understand. Anyone with suggestions, I'm all ears!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another Birthday...

Yesterday was Andrew's 31st birthday. It's amazing how quickly another year passes, huh? One year older... and possibly wiser too. :) We are so grateful for Andrew at our house. We thought we'd fill you in on why he is the best:

* "He practices soccer with me." -Alexa
* "Because he does so much for us." -Callie
* "I love you, Dad." -Leah
* Because he makes me laugh and smile a lot. -Quinten
* He tells me I'm beautiful and I know he means it. -Cori
* "He takes me on bike rides." -Alexa
* "That we get to see him and eat dinner with him." -Callie
* "I like Daddy to play outside with me." -Leah
*Because he holds me all through church. -Quinten
* He lets me go home whenever I want, for as long as I want... even if I know he doesn't really want me to. -Cori
* He'd rather spend time with me than do anything else. -Cori

We love you so much! Thanks for being the best Dad and husband we could ask for! Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Here it is, nearly midnight, and I'm just finishing my preparations for Sharing Time tomorrow. I've been playing with ideas all week as to what I really wanted to do... I've made several phone calls to my sisters to get their ideas as well. And this is my conclusion: I'm struggling. Sure, I've got it all prepared, both Junior and Senior Primary; I have a plan of action for both. So, what's my problem?? I can talk in front of anyone. I can teach the youth in a heartbeat. I can prepare a Relief Society lesson in fifteen minutes with no problem. I am with kids all day, for crying out loud- this should be a piece of cake. It's taken nearly twenty minutes of me sitting here at the computer to figure out what my real problem seems to be... and here it is: I'm afraid I won't get through to them. When I'm teaching a class or giving a talk, I can almost guarantee that someone is listening and will be affected by what I have to say. These kids are a different story. I've been in Primary enough over the years to know how many of them actually pay attention to Sharing Time. I so desperately want them to know that what I am talking about is so important. And I'm terrified that I will fail. I pray for those little ones in our ward every day. It's amazing how much love you can feel for children you hardly know. I suppose it goes with the calling. I know it's too soon to know them all, but I hope over time I will know them and they will know me. I hope they will see me and smile because they know that I love them and that I want what's best for them. Maybe once they know me, they will be more inclined to listen to me... if I'm lucky. Until then, I'll have to pray that at least one of them is listening to me and feels that still small voice inside telling them that what I am teaching is true. And even if I only get one, it will still be worth it.

Monday, February 15, 2010


My Grandmother passed away this morning. It has been a long time coming... and in typical Grandma fashion, she stubbornly lasted longer than anyone expected. The last week has been hard: she stopped eating and drinking around Tuesday and didn't wake up after that, so we've been waiting for her to go. My Mom says she went fast: they checked on her in the morning, then went to shower and get ready for the day. When they came back, she was gone. She has been living with my parents for the last thirteen years, and has need 24 hour care for three of those. My parents are saints- truly amazing in every way. They changed their lifestyle to accommodate my Grandma because she did not want to go to a nursing home. A lot of children would not be so thoughtful... my parents are the best.

Over the last several weeks, I've had the knowledge that it was almost my Grandma's time to go. I've wondered if I'd miss her or be sad when it finally happened. I'll be honest with you, mostly I feel relief- relief for my parents who have watched her slowly slip away and relief for her because I know she is so much happier where she is now. Sometime when my house falls quiet, when my kids are safely tucked into their beds, I may have a few tears for my Grandma; not because I'm sad, but because I loved who she was and I have such great memories of her. I've been spending a lot of time reviewing my time with her and I thought my siblings would appreciate some of my favorites that I am going to post here. If you didn't know my Grandma and you continue reading this post anyway, know that she was wonderful and I will miss who she once was: not the thin, declining woman that we've known for the past few years, but the round, happy person of many years ago. How grateful I am for the knowledge of eternal families! What a blessing to know that I will see her once again someday.

*I loved eating lunch at her house: tunafish or egg salad sandwiches cut into thirds- halfway down the middle, then to the corners... I still cut my kids' sandwiches like this today.
* Frozen candybars that were always stocked in her big freezer and cans of soda that were constantly replenished in her fridge. I'm positive it's where my addiction started.
* Sleeping on her couch after seminary my Junior and Senior years before my classes at the High School or college started. She gave me my own key so I could let myself into her house whenever I wanted- Elizabeth will remember this well. :)
* Watching Days of Our Lives with her, also during my High School years... I was hooked for awhile.
* Choosing a birthday dessert for her to make: cherry cheesecake, that yummy lemon or orange angel food cake, filled cupcakes for school... she was the best. Oh, and those yummy soft mints- does anyone have that recipe?
* Washing dishes that didn't really need to be washed. She'd fill the sink and put clean dishes in for me. She'd hold my sleeves up with rubber bands so they didn't get wet and set up a stool for me to stand on. I'm convinced that I like doing dishes because it's my thinking time. It was always quiet when I did it at her house and I remember loving that time alone.
* Trips to McDonalds before I was in school with her and my mom. I still remember the first time they were spelling something so I didn't know what it was and I blurted it out: we were sitting in her driveway dropping her off after lunch and she and my mom were talking about Christmas presents. They never spelled around me again.
* Cinnamon sugar toast broiled in the oven for breakfast.
* She and my Grandpa gave me my first set of scriptures when I turned 8. They are so marked up and loved. I still pull them out sometimes just to read silly insights of a young child... some are not so silly and bring back thoughts and ideas of long ago. I used them all through seminary and into the first years of college.
* Drinking soda out of one of many mugs from her collection with a bendy straw. Do you guys remember the robber handle with the bag of money in the bottom? Yeah, I have that... and the sheriff mug that goes with it. Jealous?
* Her duck collection. You haven't seen anything like it. Mom, have you sold them on ebay yet? There HAS to be some duck-crazed person out there who would die and go to heaven.
*Jello cubes. Enough said.
* All the little cups and containers that kept everything organized: her jewelry, office supplies, bathroom stuff, EVERYTHING. I thought they were so cool as a little kid; now I realize they were nothing but a menace to clean up after she could no longer get out of bed to use them.
* Her Texaco mug that was always full of ice and water no matter what time of day or if she was home or not. How did she do it?? :)
* She used to walk us to the corner and watch us head to school in the mornings when Mom was in school. Remember that morning she was walking with us and had Pepper (their dog) and she had to carry him home because he was too fat to walk any farther? Oh, that still makes me laugh.
*Candy dishes. Everywhere. All the time. When I was a kid I'd fill my pockets before I left her house. She used to say that I'd fill my pockets the most. What can I say? I love my chocolate. My kids actually call her Candy Grandma because they would fill little bags of Skittles every time we'd go downstairs in my parent's house to visit with her. Remember years and years ago the time she stuck the dishes in the oven to hide them from the kids and forgot? She turned the oven on and melted everything.
*The cookie jars. Wafer cookies, chocolate macaroons, those marshmallow cookie chocolate things. Ahh... bliss.
* The dollhouse she furnished for us as kids. Complete with wallpaper and everything. Our Grandpa made the dollhouse and she decked it out. That was the coolest gift. It was donated to our Elementary school when we outgrew it, but just recently my sister got it back for her kids.
* Her TV Guide: clipped at the top to the right page. She really was kids of eccentric, wasn't she?? I guess that's why we loved her.
*She ironed her money to make it nice and crisp. I used to take it out of that wallet/clip thing she had and I'd count it over and over. I guess it's no surprise I became a banker and was fairly good at it.
* She never forgot a birthday, an anniversary, or anything else until she became bedridden. She'd send cards and a crisp bill or check. She had beautiful penmanship.

I love her so much. She really was the best Grandma. I think I had the chance to spend more time with her than some of my siblings because of my schedule in High School. We had such great talks and I loved that she loved my company. I love these memories. They will always be precious to me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What Happened???

Once a year I seem to find myself in a blogging funk. Apparently, it has hit me again in the last month and a half. There will be too much to catch up on, but it must be done...ugh....

I actually love the beginning of the year. Every December I mentally run through the last twelve months of my life and wonder what I could have done differently or better, the excess I could have cut out of my life ( you know the stuff- the time wasting, brain wasting, money wasting stuff). And each year I come to the same conclusions: I'm far from perfect and that's OK. If I was perfect, I'd have no business being here. I also find that every year I look at the time wasting, brain wasting, money wasting stuff and firmly believe that some of it is necessary for my sanity... and that's OK too.

I always set New Years Resolutions for myself, but I've noticed that as I get older, they have changed a bit. They are slightly smaller goals than they once were, slightly more manageable, and frequently half the goals I set for myself are the same every year. I must be getting tired. :) I think it's good to have goals that never are accomplished- it keeps me from being complacent. For example, I will probably always have a goal to attain greater patience. I can't imagine that it will ever be a goal I can cross off a list, but maybe the smaller goal of not losing my patience when my kids yell at me because they won't clean their rooms is something more manageable. Small steps, right??

So, as a small, manageable goal, I'm going to try to blog at least twice a month. It's good for journaling purposes and keeps my family up-to-date on what's going on with my kids since they can't be here to see it. I'm already a month into my other goals for the year and I'll be honest with you, some of them aren't going so well. But, that's OK- I'm not perfect, remember? I will keep working on them, one small step at a time. I still have eleven months left before I will sit down and decide that I still haven't perfected them and need to continue working on them. Who says your Resolutions need to start January and end in December anyway??